To the Editor:
Noemie Emery’s review of Naomi Wolf’s Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood was delightful [Books in Review, October 2001].
What I find most striking about the “feminism” of Wolf and her peers is that, for the most part, it amounts to nothing more than an elaborate, politicized defense of careerism. Does anyone beside me remember that a chief aim of the 1960’s counterculture was to allow baby-boomers to escape the conformist tyranny of the career-obsessed “rat race” that had typified their parents’ lives? Whatever happened to the hippie rejection of materialism? Whatever happened to those “earth mamas” in their peasant dresses and sandals, baking organic whole-wheat bread?
Feminist ideologues like Wolf and Susan Estrich look at women’s lives in terms of career advancement and argue for government-funded programs to facilitate the upwardly-mobile lifestyles of white-collar professional women like themselves. What shall be the fruit of such an ideology, except distaff versions of the “Organization Man”?
Had the feminists of 1969 foreseen that their movement would yield today’s typical career woman—stuck in rush-hour traffic, talking to a client on her cell phone, wondering if this month’s child support payment will be enough to cover the day care bill—I suspect they might have called the whole thing off.
Robert Stacy McCain